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Fundraising dinner planned for MU speech center

Apr. 07, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

HUNTINGTON — A fundraising dinner will be conducted at 6 p.m. Monday, April 8, to raise awareness and financial support for families through the Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Program at Marshall University.

The sixth annual Scottish Rite Spring Dinner, which will be set in the Don Morris Room on the second floor of the Memorial Student Center, will include dinner from Outback Steakhouse and desserts from Paula Vega Cakes. The cost is $125 per person, and tickets will be available at the door.

Guest speakers will include Dr. Joe and Toby Werthammer, who will present “Hope and the Long Road Home ... The Story of Nick,” which tells of their son’s recovery after a traumatic brain injury left him unable to speak at the age of 15. After years of speech therapy at the center, he is now a 31-year-old family man who works at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The dinner also will feature Emily York, a 6-year-old who was chosen as the 2013 Scottish Rite Poster Child. As a child, York was diagnosed with severe apraxia of speech, which denied her the ability to be understood by her family. Since then, she has made incredible progress working with speech therapists at the Speech and Hearing Center.

“At one time, Emily could not even say her own name,” said her mother, Melissa York. “Kids at school would ask her, ‘Why can’t you talk right?’ and as a mother, I just couldn’t deal with that. I can’t help but wonder where we would be today if it weren’t for Marshall’s Speech and Hearing Center.”

All proceeds from the dinner will directly benefit the Scottish Rite Child Speech and Language Program through the Speech and Hearing Center, which serves as a training site for students in the Department of Communication Disorders at Marshall.

Since 2002, the Scottish Rite Program has provided comprehensive services to children with communication disorders, without regard to creed, race or a family’s ability to pay. Mickey Martin, president of the Scottish Rite Foundation, said the organization has raised more than half a million dollars since its founding and has given much of that to Marshall.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 304-696-3640.

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